Nepal held its eighth day of anti-rape protests on Friday (January 4) in a movement that has mirrored neighboring India and is demanding protection against rape.
The protests in India erupted after a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped on a New Delhi bus, she subsequently died of the injuries she sustained in the brutal assault.
In Nepal, a 21-year-old maid has accused officials of robbing her and a policeman of raping her after she returned to Kathmandu international airport from Saudi Arabia.
"Since these people in official posts who are supposed to protect and provide security have themselves being involved in rape cases, they have been arrested and processed for punishment," said Nepal's Prime Minister Baburan Bhattarai.
"There has been increasing incidences of violence, right in the capital city also, and some women have been raped, some women have been burned alive. Even security personnel and the legal authorities have been involved in such crime. So, we are gathered here to say: 'enough is enough,'" said President of women's NGO Saathi Bandana Rana during a demonstration inKathmandu.
Rana said the protest movement in Nepal had been inspired by the reaction to the rape in India.
"We are very impressed with the kind of social mobilisation that has taken place there and how every Indians are gathered together to express their solidarity and to pursue the government for more secure policies and laws so that women feel secure. So I think we can learn from them as well."
The December 16 attack has provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crime in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.